W-Band Power Amplifier Based on Wide Bandgap Technology
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-156
Topic Title: W-Band Power Amplifier Based on Wide Bandgap Technology
Proposal No.: N082-156-0349
Firm: QuinStar Technology, inc.
24085 Garnier Street
Torrance, California 90505
Contact: James Schellenberg
Phone: (310) 320-1111
Web Site: www.quinstar.com
Abstract: Millimeter-wave radars, operating in W-band centered at the 94 GHz low atmospheric attenuation window, provide advantages of high resolution with small antenna, penetration through fog, clouds, smoke, and dust. This program is aimed at the development of state-of-the-art high power solid-state power amplifiers for use in W-band active antenna arrays and radar transmitters. QuinStar Technology teamed with HRL proposes to develop an SSPA capable of >5W output with >25 dB gain, >15% power added efficiency by utilizing GaN MMIC technology. In Phase I, starting with the W-band MMIC cell device which HRL has demonstrated 2W/mm output power capability, we will investigate the feasibility of achieving >4W/mm power density by optimizing material and device parameters by means of simulation analysis. We will then develop a preliminary MMIC design by combining cells on chip to achieve 1.5W per MMIC chip with reasonable process yield. To achieve >5W output power, we propose to develop an amplifier design with high efficiency (low loss) 4-way combiner, which QuinStar has recently demonstrated <0.2 dB combining loss. The proposed Phase I effort will lead to the development and demonstration of >5W amplifiers in phase II that will enable W-band active array and radar transmitter development.
Benefits: The SSPA with >5W output, >25 dB gain, >6 GHz bandwidth, and >15% PAE to be developed will provide much needed enabling technology for the development of w-band radar and communication systems. W-band radars capable of high resolution with small antenna can operate in day light and night darkness penetrating through fog, clouds, smoke and dust. Potential applications include UAVs, missiles, imaging, landing aid, wire detection, and many others. In communications, it will enable high data rate transmissions with small antennas under adverse weather conditions both in military and commercial applications.